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USB Chargers Challenges…


I’ve been meaning to write about this for a bit, but now that I have a new device (Samsung S4) that uses yet a different USB charger it is time I do…


I have been annoyed by USB chargers and USB power for a bit….. Urgh.. Not all USB chargers are the same anymore… (Side note:  when Apple decided to switch to the mini-USB connector I did not complaint much)

I do remember when every device had its own proprietary connector.. What a nightmare that was! —  I still have a box with a bunch of them (just in case) 🙂

But my challenge is not the connectors themselves but with the power output the chargers provide…There was a brief (very brief) time in which we were in bliss!  but lately,  as you might have noticed, some  chargers are stronger than others. Even on your desktop / laptop, one USB socket more powerful than the other,   and you cannot  charge your smartphone or tablet via that USB socket.

I carry with me chargers with output  of:  500mA (0.5A);  900mA (0.9A), 1000mA( 1.0A), 1500mA (1.5A), 2100mA (2.1A)  — and some of the devices do not work with the lower end…

Leviton-USB-chargerSide note:   I was also researching the new wall-power units with USB connectors, and they are cheap or made-equal…  Most of the latest models have 2.1A output, as opposed to the car charges with two outputs where one is a 2.1A and the other 1A..



Bottom line:   I need to get rid of all my older chargers (anything with less than 1.5A)  and use the  newer ones..    It will not harm the older devices (devices post 2007).  When you use the lower amp charger on newer devices, it will charge a bit slower, and when you use the higher amp charger on the older devices  it will charge faster.

A great simple and well written article by Sebastian Anthony for  on the “behind” the scenes can be found at:

How USB charging works, or how to avoid blowing up your smartphone


I am just wondering if 2.1A  output will be the “standard”  for a while…